Havas posts big gain in Q1

By OnDownLow 

French holding company Havas, owners of agencies like Euro RSCG, MPG & Arnold Worldwide, posted a big first quarter of 2008 — a 2.5 percent revenue gain — 7.4 percent in terms of organic growth — to approximately $550 million, the company said today.

The strength of the Euro (along with the ass-kicking the US $ is currently taking) dampened the group’s growth. It claimed the appreciation of the currency negatively impacted revenues by $32m.

Growth was acheived in all regions around the world with Asia-Pacific as the fastest-growing region with a 22.8% increase while Latin America was the slowest with a 4.5% increase. Europe registered 7.9% and North America 6%.

Big wins in the new business area helps to account for the quarter where they netted in excess of $810 million, a 33 percent increase compared to the first six months of 2007. Key assignments included LendingTree, Humana, McDonald’s, Volvo, L’Oreal, Nationwide, Ikea, Avon and Bahamas Tourism.

All of this is going down while Vince Bolloré said he would try for the fifth time in recent years to gain two seats on the board of U.K. rival Aegis Group on May 23.

Bolloré is Aegis’ single largest shareholder, but he has been opposed in previous attempts to gain board representation by company management owing to conflict of interest issues And has been bitch-slapped down by shareholders each time.